I was hoping you all might have some suggestions for me. I did my very first pork shoulder a few weeks ago and while it was super tender the bark was totally lacking in flavor and was actually super bitter. My smoker is a Masterbuilt Gen II 30". This was my first major long smoke and i used apple wood chips and loaded them up every hour or so. For my dry rub i used Meatheads Memphis Meat Rub recipe from his site. I did leave the vent wide open for the entire smoke to try and keep the air flow up and the temp around 225 for the entire smoke.
I've searched around and read that this could be caused by several things such as stale smoke. To remedy that issue i purchased a Amazen Pellet smoker and added a mailbox mod to my smoker. However, i noticed something else that i thought might be causing it and i was wondering how you all deal with it. His dry rub recipe contains a lot of sugar, which i really liked as i wanted a nice thick sweet bark, however it appears that in my smoker as the dripping fall down and hit the slanted catch pan in the Gen 2's, this sugary rub/grease just sits there and starts to burn since its close to heating element. Is it possible this burning sugar smoke also caused this bitter flavor. ,After the smoke was done i had to scrape the huge mound of burnt stuff off the catch pan, i wish i had taken a picture of it.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle the drippings on a electric smoker and if this burning is actually an issue or was it most likely stale smoke? I've read that some people put a aluminum catch pan under their meat as it smokes. Do you add water to this pan to keep the drippings from burning? Maybe i was just too heavy handed with the rub or should have tried a different one to start out?
I'm going to try again this weekend with football season starting so i'm hoping for a better result this time. Thanks for any tips you all might have.